Illinois Economic Justice Project

The Illinois Economic Justice Project (IEJP) is an inclusive entrepreneurship outreach initiative that leverages the resources and network of the University of Illinois entrepreneurship ecosystem to support local MSMEs (micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises) created by women, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), Veterans, and other underserved entrepreneurs. In collaboration with community-based entrepreneurship support organizations and community partners, IEJP creates opportunities for transformational learning, economic inclusion, and social impact.

IEJP members will be instrumental in launching the new Entrepreneur Drop-In Center at Gies College of Business (Thursdays 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Business Instructional Facility) and will serve as ambassadors and connectors to help entrepreneurs navigate and access entrepreneurship resources.

We anticipate a variety of experiential learning opportunities for students, including planning entrepreneurship education programs as well as direct support of entrepreneurs through business consulting projects (e.g., market research, strategy, marketing) and specialist projects (e.g., social media, web development, graphic design, multimedia, software development).

Who Should Apply?
Students of all majors and levels (undergraduate and graduate) are welcome to apply. We aim to build a committed team of talented students who are equity-minded, want to gain knowledge and practical experience in entrepreneurship, and are passionate about using their skills to support local entrepreneurs and small business owners and promote inclusive economic development.

This is an entrepreneurial leadership opportunity for students who are highly responsible, committed to respectful community engagement, adaptable to change and ambiguity, and eager to be at the forefront of shaping new culturally responsive and impactful entrepreneurship education and support programs.

For questions, contact Valeri Werpetinski at

AY22-23 Application (still accepting applications, ongoing):

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